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Future health care planning essential for Massachusetts residents

Americans are living longer than ever before. In fact, the average age of the population is on the rise, which makes future health care planning essential for everyone, including Massachusetts residents. One source indicates that when an individual reaches the age of 65, the probability of needing long-term care increases to 70 percent.

The problem is that there is no way to determine the type of care that will be needed. Further, the definition of "long-term" will vary from person to person. Making plans regarding how to afford such care can be problematic.

It is never too early to begin saving money for long-term care. Long-term care insurance policies will generally cover around the clock in home care or in an assisted living center. Some policies provide for long-term care and include death benefits if the person passes away. These policies also allow an individual to take funds out after five years, and the death benefits are tax-free. For Massachusetts residents that start planning while they are still working, a health savings account that allows the balance to be rolled over could provide the funds needed for qualified expenses such as prescriptions and eyeglasses.

Of course, an estate plan can also include long-term health care planning. There are several estate planning options available that can be used in tandem with other options. Finding the best option for an individual could take the assistance of someone familiar with both estate planning and the other options mentioned above. With a plan in place, both the individual and his or her family can have some peace of mind that he or she will be taken care of in the future.

Source: Fox Business, "How to Plan for Rising Health-Care Costs", Donna Fuscaldo, July 31, 2014

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